Scleroderma citrinum

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Scleroderma citrinum

23 October 2008 Hampshire. Photograph copyright Leif Goodwin

Common Name

Earth Ball

Fruiting Body

Sub-spherical, attached to the soil by mycelial cords, initially pale yellow brown, with coarse brown scales, insides ripening into a powdery spore mass which is released when the outer skin ruptures, to about 10 cm across

Flesh

Whitish, firm, the spore mass becoming purple brown to black with age

Smell

Strong, somewhat unpleasant

Taste

Indistinct

Season

Summer to autumn

Distribution

Very common

Habitat

On acidic soil with deciduous trees in woods and on heaths

Microscopic Features

Spores spherical, decorated with a network (9-13) µm

Edibility

Poisonous, causing vomiting, nausea and diarrhoea

Notes

This fungus sometimes plays host to the bolete Pseudoboletus parasiticus